5 Things You Have to Have in Every Ad to Get Results

‐ December 30, 2013


Five Basic Elements to Increasing Your Advertising Results

When you advertise you want to and need to get a result, a return on investment. Your promotion money does not grow on trees. You want to make sure every ad dollar is effective. Getting someone to respond to an ad and do business with you is very similar to and is basically a sales process.

When a prospect first sees your postcard or direct mail piece they are instantly trying to decide what you are selling and if they need or want your service or product. There is an inner conversation that takes place in your prospect’s mind in the first 3 to 7 seconds when they see your ad.

Before we get to the five elements you need to make your ads effective, let me ask you this. Do you feel that you have wasted money on advertising? What would your sales look like if you could improve your advertising effectiveness by 30%?

It is not complicated or mysterious thing to make your advertising more effective. You need only to know five basic premises, everything builds from there.

The prospect has five things he wants to know:

1.  What are you trying to sell me?

2.  How will it help me? (What’s in it for me?)

3.  How much is it?

4. How do I get it?

5. Why should I buy it now?

Your offer must address these five questions and quickly! If the message is garbled or confusing you will lose your readers interest. The headline must catch attention. The photo must support the headline and pull the reader’s attention into your ad. The reader’s eye must be directed through the ad. The basic rules to follow are: clarity, simplicity, brevity and call to action.

Clarity – Don’t make your customers work to interpret what you’re saying. Believe me they won’t bother. Avoid industry jargon and specialized words that the reader does not understand and will cause confusion. A confused reader will ignore the message – so err on the side of simplicity.

Simplicity – Simplicity is the first cousin to clarity. Think of the KISS method (keep it simple stupid). Really, there’s enough complexity in the world. Your customers aren’t looking for more complexity and especially not from someone who’s trying to sell them something. Simply demonstrate how you are going to make their life easier. Don’t over sell.

The aim of direct mail is to generate a lead. A lead is a reach for more information. To get leads, all you have to do is get attention and build interest. Giving too much information often kills the reach for your product or service. You want your message to give enough information to create interest but it must leave them wanting more. If they have questions they will have to call you to get the answers.

Brevity – Everyone is in a hurry. Respect that and keep it short, a single, crisp eyeful at most. A post card with a lot of text on it usually gets thrown in the trash unread. A sales letter is a different animal altogether and by definition has a lot of text. They must be written so that it gets the readers attention and pulls them into reading the letter. Sales letters are a personal form of marketing. The above rules definitely apply but there is an art to writing them.

Make your Call to Action Immediate – Cut right to the chase, get to the point. Let your prospect know what you want them to do. Tell them how to get it and most importantly why they should get it now. Lay it out simply, clearly and briefly. The call to action should have a special offer or reason to buy now, the incentive for them to call you now.

Remember the aim of direct mail advertising or any other advertising is to create a reach for your product or service. The above concepts carry over to other forms of advertising and sales materials. Everything in your sales and marketing arsenal should be designed to pull the reader in and move them along in the sales process to result in buying.

We can help you create materials that communicate to your prospects and more importantly tie everything together.

Mark Hale


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